|If you could simulate a workout at the beach in the petri dish, its beneficial health effect would be all the rage ;-)|
Calcitriol boosts the anabolic effect of leucine & insulin
If your read the "Vitamin D Builds Muscle" article, you should actually remember the dichotomous nature of the effects vitamin D had on muscle cell hypertrophy (which goes up) and proliferation (which goes down). This was after all the most intriguing result of the Girgis study (go back). The new data from the paper at hand, which is likewise dealing with in-vitro effects of vitamin D, does now provide us with some additional information on the underlying mechanisms of the hypertrophy effects.
Vitamin D and health - What the latest systematic review says: As long as you look at things at the population level or sit in your well-climatized lab next to the Petri dishes, vitamin D is king. When you look at the real world, of which I still believe that it is populated by individuals, the excitement appears to be unwarranted. The most recent systematic review that has been published today in the (most) prestigious medical journal The Lancet says: "The discrepancy between observational and intervention studies suggests that low 25(OH)D is a marker of ill health. Inflammatory processes involved in disease occurrence and clinical course would reduce 25(OH)D, which would explain why low vitamin D status is reported in a wide range of disorders." (Autier. 2013) -- in other words: Being sick will lead to reduction ins 25(OH)D and not vice versa.It is nevertheless intriguing to see, how the myotubes that had been cultured in 1,25(OH)2D3 solutions at 0, 1, or 10 nM for 72 h reacted to the leucine and insulin challenges. 14–16% increases in fractional protein synthesis rates (FSR) and an increased expression of insulin receptors, of which we can hope that it would also translate into increased glucose uptake into the cells. Assuming that similar effects occur in vivo and in a normal vs. high vitamin D environment, these benefits would be more than just statistically significant.
Ok, that's an in vitro study, so why do you discuss it at all?
If the above is what you've just been thinking, you know me quite well by now. I would indeed not have wasted a whole SuppVersity article on this vitamin D paper, if it would not contradict the real-world results of a recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study from the University of Oslo so "nicely". In this paper, a group of Swedish researchers probed the effects of provision of 1,000IU and 400IU of vitamin D3 per day on 251 healthy adult men and women (age 18-50 years; Knutsen. 2013).
Despite the fact that the vitamin D levels of the subjects almost doubled, none of the strength and performance parameters, i.e. jump height, handgrip strength and the chair-rising test, showed pre vs. post differences that differed from those in the control group.
The study Carillo et al., for example (Figure 2, right). If you take a look at the results , it's easy to see that for the twenty-three overweight and obese (age: 26.1±4.7 y; BMI: 31.3±3.2 kg/m², body fat: 43%) subjects with insufficient vitamin D levels (25-hydroxyvitamin D: 19.3±7.2 ng/ml) the researchers from the Purdue University recruited for their experiment the 4000IU of supplemental vitamin D each of them received on a daily basis had the expected effect on the resistance training induced increase in peak power and reduction in waist-to-hip ratio (not shown). The effect size is however is pathetic and the only thing that was "significant" - imho statistically, only - was the peak power in the vitamin D group.
- Autier, P. et al. (2013) Vitamin D status and ill health: a systematic review. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinolog, Available online 6 Decembee
- Bas, A., Lopez, I., Perez, J., Rodriguez, M., & Aguilera‐Tejero, E. (2006). Reversibility of Calcitriol‐Induced Medial Artery Calcification in Rats With Intact Renal Function. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 21(3), 484-490.
- Ceglia, L., Niramitmahapanya, S., Morais, M. D. S., Rivas, D. A., Harris, S. S., Bischoff-Ferrari, H., ... & Dawson-Hughes, B. (2013). A randomized study on the effect of vitamin D3 supplementation on skeletal muscle morphology and vitamin D receptor concentration in older women. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, jc-2013.
- Knutsen, K. V., Madar, A. A., Lagerløv, P., Brekke, M., Raastad, T., Stene, L. C., & Meyer, H. E. (2013). Does Vitamin D Improve Muscle Strength in Adults? A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial Among Ethnic Minorities in Norway. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, jc-2013.
- Salles, J., Chanet, A., Giraudet, C., Patrac, V., Pierre, P., Jourdan, M., ... & Walrand, S. (2013). 1, 25 (OH) 2‐vitamin D3 enhances the stimulating effect of leucine and insulin on protein synthesis rate through Akt/PKB and mTOR mediated pathways in murine C2C12 skeletal myotubes. Molecular nutrition & food research.